Pasta or Noodle

Instant love

Yes it was instant. I fell in love with my Instant Pot ever since we met. We have made a lot of wonderful meal together. So tasty and fast that we have so much time to get to know each other better, every second we spend together.

One of our favorite thing to make, besides millions on them, is spaghetti. The fact that it only takes 8 minutes cooking under pressure and for this wonderful plate of spaghetti, what can I say…just wonderful.

Some people complain that it was actually cook longer than 8 minutes. True! 8 minutes when it start cooking. Does not include the time doing the mis an place a.k.a. prepping the ingredients ready for cooking.

What do we need?

2 lbs ground beef that we open the package and dump in the pot.

Then chopped 1 small yellow onion and 5 cloves garlic and dump these 2 in the pot along with the beef.

Then peeled and diced 5 carrots, mine was skinny so I used 5. You can do 2 big ones.

Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pot.

Other thing we need are, 3 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 big can of tomato puree, 1 cup red wine, I am using merlot. 1 cup of water to 2 cups if you want more sauce.  

And of course the spaghetti, 1 box. Not gonna be spaghetti without it. We will be just making bolognese won’t we.

The seasoning are 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 2 teaspoons oregano, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon white sugar.

See all in the pot, meat, onion, garlic and olive oil. Press sautee and cook until beef are cooked and the onion softened. Then add the diced carrots.

Stir the pot. Wow that does not sound nice lol. Add the tomato paste, seasoning and give it a stir to combine the whole thing.

See they are mingled at the party in the pot. Now it is safe to have the tomato puree entering the party.

Once the tomato puree and water dropped into the pot, turn the Instant pot off, add the spaghetti in and kind of push them down so they are covered with the sauce. 

Closed the lid, sealed the vent, press manual and adjust the time to 8 minutes. When it beeped, your food is done. QR, release the pressure by opening the vent. Give them a stir again and serve.

One pot got dirty, one chopping board, the house stays cool, I have time to catch up with tv series while spaghetti and the sauce cooking at the same time, my boys happy… why not making spaghetti in the Instant Pot??? why? why not?

Mac and cheese 4 minutes

Comfort food..when it rains outside, the dark sky and all the good stuffs that comes with the rain, all I can think of is snuggle and comfort. 

Mac and cheese is one of the food that I love. I used to grab the box because it was so easy. However, ever since I had a craved for it at work one day, and the easiest way is to walk to Walgreens and grabbed the Instant, microwaveable Mac and cheese, I never do it anymore. I got a bad headache after eating that and checked the sodium on the box, I almost fainted.  Never again. 

Then when I started my love story with Instant Pot and figured out I can make Mac and cheese in 4 minutes from scratch, no more instant boxes. This is instant and from scratch..beat That!

So, my son had been asking for mac and cheese and he got it. I like trying different kind of cheeses. This time white cheddar. 

All you need are these below. 

These group goes first in the pot:

16 oz box of elbow macaroni

4 cups broth or water

1 tablespoon mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

4 tablespoons butter

2 cloves garlic crushed.

These goes next:

1 – 1 1/2 cups heavy cream or milk or evaporated milk, I prefer heavy cream. 

2 cups shredded cheese, we love white cheddar. Kraft has a new one smoked bacon cheddar which is good too.

Topping:

4 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs 

1 tablespoons dried parsley

1/4 cups grated parmesan

So here how I made ours.

Put Mac, broth, butter and seasoning in the Instant pot. Closed the lid and sealed position for the vent. Then press manual 4 minutes.

In the meantime, make the topping. Melt the 4 tablespoons butter, I like to add 1 clove garlic, crushed sometimes. Add dried parsley and Panko bread crumbs,  keep stirring until golden yellow on medium heat. When it started turn golden, add the parmesan keep stirring until all golden brown. By the time the topping is done, you will hear the beeping from the Instant pot. It is ready. Gradually release the pressure. Why Gradually? Sometimes when you cook starch, it could squirt foam so you want to watch it.  That’s why opening the vent gradually is the way to do this

Now you are done, turn it off and press sautee function. Add the next ingredients, which are heavy cream and cheeses. Stir until cheese melted. This will take less than minute. There you have it. Scoop in a bowl and topped with the bread crumb topping mixture. How easy is That?

Try it! You won’t use the box anymore or that fake cheese :).

8 minutes Spaghetti

Ever Since I tried to cook spaghetti in Instant Pot, I never go back to the stove method anymore. I mean why using 2 pots when you can use just 1 pot? There was time I was thrilled to be able to cook my spaghetti in the microwave using my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker, until I the microwave gave up on me. I guess I use them too much. Well no more 2 pots needed when making my spaghetti. Whether you are using the jar sauce or your homemade sauce, the way to do it is the same. All you need is a jar of pasta sauce like 32 oz, a jar of water 32 oz (after you dumped the sauce, fill the jar with water or broth), 1 cup of red wine (optional), 2 lbs ground beef, chopped onion like 1/2 small onion and 5 glove garlic finely chopped, 1 lbs spaghetti (1 box). You can add mushroom if you like. Or if you don’t want to do ground beef, you can use homemade or frozen meatballs.

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So first, browned the ground beef in the pot using saute function, and add the onion and garlic, stir or mix until beef is browned and onion translucent.

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Then add seasoning if you like (salt, pepper, oregano, nutmeg, I always add nutmeg to mine, i just love the flavor with nutmeg). Then pour in the 1 cup red wine if you are using to deglazed the bottom. Pour the sauce, the water or broth, stir and then dump the spaghetti.

I found the one they call it pot size spaghetti, so we don’t have to break it in half. Kinda pat it down and then closed the lid and vent.

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Press manual 8 minutes and just wait for it. While typing on your blog and watch the Golden Girls. I named my Instant Pot : Dorothy, Blanche, Rose and Sophia :)). Dorothy is doing the spaghetti. I am using Rose for dessert and yogurt only.

Yes I have 4 Instant Pots. And it just beeped on me. Spaghetti is done. I am leaving it NPR.

See how easy it is? 1 pot 8 minutes and my son loves the spaghetti ini Instant Pot. I agree with him it’s more flavorful.

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Charsiu in Instant Pot without red food coloring

sawAfter our day out to the Asian shopping center yesterday to check out the new bakery in town, 85c bakery. Grab some breads well a lot. And stopped by the Japanese Dollar Store next door, Daiso and out with nothing. Ended our time at the grocery store and grabbed few things. Among the few things are pork butt, pork feet, noodles, baby broccoli.

So I am thinking to make Charsiu noodle for our dinner today. I checked my pantry and I can’t find honey. See the other ingredients are ready..

I need something for the sweetness in place of my honey. I decided to make my own version by using lite brown sugar.

I ended up using half of the pork butt. So it’s around 1 lbs pork.

I blend all the marinade ingredients in my magic bullet jar. This is another kitchen warrior that has been helping me a lot in cooking. Bought them back in 2007 it was a buy 1 get 1 free. I left one at work to make smoothie. And so far it has been good to me. So the marinade are ready and pour it into the pork. Covered with plastic wrap and marinade in the fridge for couple hours.

Whilst the pork marinade, I have time..plenty of time to enjoy my chocolate croissant from the bakery and my coffee. And binged on Netflix with my Penny Dreadful. I stayed up until 4 am last night watching..ugh. Me and binge! The croissant was ok. I prefer my starbucks or La Madelaine chocolate croissant better.

By 4:45 I started to take the pork out from the fridge. Move it on the pyrex bowl. I am doing PIP – Pot in Pot method in the Instant Pot, put the bowl on the rack in the liner with 2 cups of water. Close the lid and vent and press manual 18 minutes.

Once it beeped, I let it sit for another 18 minutes.
This is what it looked like after I took it out. After the bowl is out I add the chinese broccoli into the rack and cook in manual 1 minute. However, for the next time, I think 0 – zero minute is enough.

I heat up 1 tablespoon oil in the pan to fry my pork, just to get the charred on it. And reduce the sauce after I fry the pork.

I decided to add 2-3 tablespoons sugar to the sauce as it’s reducing.
It was so tender and juicy. We were snacking on the pork as I boil my water to cook the noodle. It was so good.

Well noodle is ready and toss in the bowl with a little oil, soy sauce, white pepper and just a little sugar to balance the flavor. Dinner is ready in less than 1 hour. I had to add my spicy garlic chili on mine, while hubby always add hoisin sauce on his.

I like this version better I think. It’s not overly sweet. Just perfect sweetness and saltiness. And the most important thing….no red food coloring. It was a success.
Ingredients for the sauce, which I put all in magic bullet jar:

3 tablespoons cooking oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon red yeast rice

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon chinese five spice

1 teaspoon pink himalayan salt

1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2-3 tablespoons white sugar when you reducing the sauce in the pan.

1 lbs pork butt

The process:

Blend all ingredients except the white sugar and pork butt.

Marinade the pork with the sauce, covered with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.

Cook the pork in Instant pot with 2  cups of water in Pot in Pot method for 18 minutes manual. NPR 18 minutes.

Pan fry with 1 tablespoon oil to get the charred.

Set aside,.

Reduce the sauce in the pan with 2-3 tablespoons sugar in medium heat. until thicken. Keep stirring.

Serve the sliced pork with the sauce over noodle or steamed rice.

Mie ayam – Indonesian chicken noodle

Been slaving 🙂 in the kitchen today. I made the chicken with mushroom, then the ground pork with sweet soy sauce, prepared the green mustard, green onion, cilantro for the topping for my noodles I made yesterday.

the toppings / fixing for the noodle

Then took my shower while I boil the water to cook the noodle and make the chicken broth. After shower, I started making the chili aka sambal for the noodle. Love my magic bullet. I washed some red chili the tiny ones. And popped them in the microwave with some water, this is my shortcut instead of cooking the chili peppers in boiling water. Once it’s done, I did 1 minute 30 seconds, drain the water, add chicken broth, vinegar and salt, then blend them in the magic bullet jar. Set aside. Mean while the water is boiling, so I grabbed my noodle from the freezer and dumped 4 portions into the water. Stir them with my chopstick making sure they are all separated. Couple minutes are the only time we need to cook the noodle. Strained and pour into a prepared bowl with vegetable oil, sesame oil, pepper, soy sauce and fish sauce, or you can use garlic oil also, and a tiny bit of sugar probably 1/8 teaspoons for each portion.Stir the noodle in the dressing. Topped it with the fixing and serves.

Took some to my friends house and hang out a little bit there while my son played with her kiddos. When we got home, I saw the guy I called to clean up our flower bed is working out there on our yard. And the washer is running, meaning my hubby is up. Started to make our lunch noodle. My son keep saying how good it is lol. He’s funny…and sweet. So here is our lunch today. I like home made noodle better than the one I usually get at the asian market. It seems lighter, mine is. And for sure no preservative. Can’t beat that!.

Oh and I saw a blog last week and I could not remember which one was it. Yeah not too smart aren’t I? Why did I not book marked it? not sure argh,… Anyway in that blog it shows how to grow celery, green onion and other stuffs..So I dare myself to try it. So here goes..it works. We are going to move it into a pot with soil soon..woohoo I am so excited!

Noodle / pasta / mie / bakmi etc etc

Noodle. Who does not like it? It comes in so many different forms and names. It’s that looooooooooooong stringy yummy thing. Spaghetti, fettuccine, linguine, lo mein, chow mein, rice noodle, pho, glass noodle, udon, soba, buckwheat, mie, bakmi, bihun and on and on and on.

I never thought about making my own fresh noodle until recently. I was craving for one of the kind of noodle from home, mie karet (chewy / rubbery noodle). Not really rubbery or hard but it’s more chewy than most noodle..kinda like udon but not as thick and not sticky. They serves it with sliced cooked chicken, green onion, cilantro and mustard greens and a side of chicken broth. The noodle itself cooked same way as you cook your pasta. Then seasoned with a mixture of vegetable oil, sesame oil, white pepper,  soy sauce / fish sauce, and a tiny bit of sugar.

The image of mie karet abadi from http://www.id.openrice.com
My version, homemade mie karet / chewy noodle

I remember looking forward to every weekend when my dad would take us all to these noodle restaurant. It’s a small place nothing fancy. They serve these noodles with won ton, meatball, fish ball and then it grows to other dishes like nasi campur (steamed rice with bbq pork, charsiu, chicken, hard boiled eggs cooked in soy sauce, ngohiang) to other Chinese dishes. But my fave and others fave I reckon is the yummy noodle..simple yet so delicious noodle.

There are so many different kind of “chicken noodle aka mie ayam” in Indonesia where I came from. And every one of them are delicious in their own way. Each noodle place has their own characteristic that make them stand out from the other.
I used to live in the Chinatown where I was surrounded of these many version or noodle and other traditional delicacies. My co worker usually order lunch or breakfast for me to brought to work for them. Stuffs that you can get in other part of Jakarta, however the one by my house are the best. Food and food from the minute you open your eyes until even 3 am you can still find food stalls around. Noodles from you wake up until you wake up again :). Never stop!.
Frankly that is one of the thing I missed from home. And my family and friends of course. Do not miss the traffic that is for sure.
Anyway, today I decided to make my own noodle again. Only this time I am using my bread maker to do the work making the dough. And the pasta machine do the rest. Gotta love kitchen gadget these days.
I am using 75 ml water mixed with 45 ml vegetable oil and 2 xlarge eggs, put them in my bread maker, then covered it with 4 3/.4 cups of bread flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Run the bread maker to the dough cycle scrapped as needed. I ended up adding more water as the dough seems to be on the dry side. Once it stopped I let it rest for like 10 minutes before taking it out and cut it in 4 and put them in the ziploc bag. Then rolled 1 piece, starting from the thicker setting, run it several time for each setting. Then run it through the noodle cutter part..sprinkle with flour and set aside. Do this for the rest of the dough.
My dough ready to be rolled.
Flattened the dough with your hand before start running it through the pasta machine.

The thin noodle sheets before cutting.
First batch. That 1 sheet on the above picture made this whole noodle.

The final result.

 I think it made 8 portions of the noodle. I will cook these noodle tomorrow afternoon after I make the  fixing for this. Planning to do ground pork cook with sweet soy sauce and garlic. And also the boiled chicken. If I have time I probably going to try to make my own won ton wrapper. We’ll see if it does not take me a long time to do my research,. For now my noodle is resting in a ziploc bag ready for their hot bath :).